High School Global Awareness, Social Activism & Inclusivity
Our high school fosters an environment of social awareness and activism, and a culture of inclusivity.We have an active student council which organizes our HS student community and social activism, and has been a valued advocate in the constructive and ongoing change in our school and curriculum. These exciting initiatives and projects are reflected in the examples below.
⚙︎ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Success Campaign
"The DEI Success Campaign, organized by the Student Council, seeks to highlight some successes that have changed our experience at Highland Hall for the better. We hope this inspires others to join in our mission with rigor and dedication." ~ HH Student Council
“Over the time that I have spent at Highland Hall, I have witnessed the need for change, the want for change, and the change itself. Some of the teachers have made extreme changes to their curriculums in order to be more inclusive, and it has made a big difference in the classroom, whether it be virtual or in person. A great example of this is the change of Parcival to Malcom X. This book provided me with a glimpse into civil rights history, and it was a story of transformation. Other teachers such as Ms. Vrudny have included non-european places in the world to expand the view of the students. They have shifted the Eurocentric view of the class to be more inclusive. I believe that more changes need to be made, but the work done so far is a great start.”
⚙︎ Community Service on a Global Scale
- An eleventh grader is raising money to purchase clothes for 150 children in the Nakivale Settlement Camp in Southern Uganda. (Pictured below are some of the clothes bought with the funds raised)
- A tenth grader chose to send storybooks to the children in the neighboring Oruchinga Camp. She is going to raise the funding by reading and writing stories that she will videotape and send to Uganda.
- One of our seniors is joining a drive to build the first bakery for Syrian women in the Bar-Elias refugee camp in Lebanon. She is doing her own fundraising on the weekends, "busking for dough" with her violin at locations around L.A.
⚙︎ Student DEI Sub-Committee Virtual Events
| With Guest Speaker, Isra Chaker
- Finding the power of your voice: Demonstrated by Isra Chaker's personal story of growing up and being bullied for wearing hijab. She spoke about how she decided to use her voice to change the bullying, and how successful that was by creating a Diversity Panel.
- How to be an ally and advocate for others: Ms. Chaker spoke about how to overcome challenges in school specifically.
- From in-person to online activism: Different ways to influence positive change online, and an approach to how to navigate that.
| With Guest Speaker Dr. Yoosun Park
Dr. Yoosun Park, PhD, MSW, an Associate Professor in the School for Social Work at Smith College, was invited by the Student DEI Sub-Committee to present to a group of high school and middle school students, as well as parents and teachers.
The title of her talk was, “Racism, White Supremacy, and the Problematization of Immigrants in U.S. History.” Through an analysis of the socio-legal history of immigration, Dr. Park touched on concepts such as the construction of whiteness, the origin of the model minority myth, and the connections that can be drawn between this history and our current issues.